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This Vyāsa-pūrṇimā, Prekshaa is delighted to present a translation of the masterly introductory essay of A R Krishna Sastri to his magnum opus, the Vacana-bhārata, which is a condensed prose rendition of the Mahābhārata in modern Kannada. The first edition of the book came out in 1950. It was hailed as a great

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Adhyāya 2. Parvasaṅgraha-parva The second adhyāya contains the Parvasaṅgraha section.  This contains information such as the number of parvas in theMahābhārata, the stories contained in them, the number of adhyāyas and verses in each of them. Before this, the seers ask Ugraśrava what the Samanta-pañcaka was, and in response he says, “In the period between the Tretā and the Dvāpara yugas, Paraśurāma killed a

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The third adhyāya of the Ādi-parva contains the ‘Pauṣya’(upa)parva. The Sūta, Ugraśrava tells the story of Uttaṅka. After completing his studies, Uttaṅka sets out to bring the earrings of King Puṣya’s consort as guru-dakṣiṇa (a token of gratitude to his guru). After acquiring them from the queen, on his way

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Adhyāyas 4-12. Pauloma-parva The adhyāyas from 4 to 12 form the Pauloma-parva. Just like the anukramaṇikā (prologue), this section starts with a prose passage. रोमहर्षणपुत्र उग्रश्रवाः सूतः पौराणिको नैमिषारण्ये शौनकस्य कुलपतेर्द्वादशवार्षिके सत्रे | (Sūta-paurāṇika Ugraśrava, the son of Romaharṣaṇa during the twelve year long satra conducted by Śaunaka in the Naimiṣāraṇya,

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Adhyāyas 62-88 – Śakuntalopākhyānam, Vaṃśanukrama, Yayātyupākhyānam (Śakuntalā’s story, details of the lineage and Yayāti’s story)   In these adhyāyas, Vaiśampāyana has chosen to narrate the sub-stories of Duṣyanta-Bhārata and Yayāti-Puru, perhaps because they are interesting and sizeable, or because they are about famous kings. Yayāti is an ancestor of Duṣyanta, separated by

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Half of the extant Mahābhārata is dedicated to dharma and ethics. In the other half, the main story and the upākhyānas are present. Even if we consider the latter alone, without doubt, it qualifies for a matchless poem. “कृतं मयेदं भगवन् काव्यं परमपूजितम्” (I have composed a sublime poem, O

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